Best Barbell Workout to Build Strength

The barbell workout is an excellent way to build strength in your body. It is a full-body workout that will help you get stronger and more muscular. The best thing about this workout is that it can be done with just one piece of equipment, the barbell!

Barbell is a simple yet effective way to build strength and muscle. It's also one of the most versatile pieces of equipment in the gym. The barbell is a popular weight training tool because its design allows exercises to be performed more safely, at higher weights and with more muscle recruitment than many other exercise tools. It is well-suited for compound exercises such as deadlift, squat and bench press, which typically utilize barbells in gyms.

What Are the Standards of Strength

Strength standards are benchmarks that indicate the relative strength of a person. They are necessary in order to compare the strength of different athletes, and also to compare the relative strength of different muscles.

Strength standards are a set of numbers that represent the amount of force an athlete can produce in a single movement. Strength benchmarks are numbers that represent what is considered to be strong for a given age and sex.

The 5 most common strength standards are:

  • Back Squat
  • Deadlift
  • Bench Press
  • Overhead Press
  • Bent Over Row

You can use this strength standard calculator to assess your level based on your sex, body weight and age.

Benefits of Compound Exercises For Building Strength

Compound exercises are exercises that involve multiple joints, large muscle groups, and fast-moving kinetic chains. These include: powerlifting, Olympic lifting, bodybuilding and CrossFit. They are a great way to train for both size and strength at the same time. Compound exercises allow for much greater increases in strength and size than isolation exercises do. This is because multiple muscle groups are contracting, so the stimulus for growth is much higher.

Compound exercises are also thought to be essential for people who want a well-rounded fitness routine, just starting exercising, or who have limited time.

Benefits of compound exercises include:

  • Increases muscle size and strength
  • Improves muscle tone, posture, coordination and balance
  • Increases energy levels in adults who lead sedentary lifestyles

5 Best Barbell Exercises to Build Strength

A barbell workout doesn't require a lot of equipment. You can actually do it with just one barbell, a few weight plates, and some space - and that's all you need to get started.

1. Barbell Deadlift

The barbell deadlift is a weight training exercise in which a loaded barbell is lifted off the ground to the hips, then lowered to the ground.

The deadlift is an exercise that is considered to be one of the most effective and efficient exercises in terms of building muscle and strength. It also has a lot of benefits for general well-being. Yet, it is often avoided or neglected by many people because they find it hard to do or they don’t know how to perform the deadlift properly.

Barbell deadlift | Gymammo

Muscles Involved

Deadlift is a compound exercise that primarily works the muscles of the lower back, glutes, hamstrings and quadriceps.

How to Perform a Barbell Deadlift

  1. Grip the barbell with both hands in front of your body and stand with your feet shoulder width apart.
  2. Your knees should be bent at about 45 degrees and your back should be straight but not too arched.
  3. Pick up  the barbell of the floor by extending your hips, keep your head up and look forward as you hinge back at the hips to bend over at about 90 degrees.
  4. Stand up straight with the barbell in your hands.
  5. The key is to keep your arms straight throughout this movement, as this will help put more emphasis on the hamstrings and glutes.
  6. Bend back down to the starting position and repeat as many reps as you can.

Form, Tips and Best Practices

  • Keep your back straight to prevent any injuries.
  • Keep your arms extended straight down when you lift the barbell.
  • Avoid jerky movements, it is better to reduce weight and complete movements smoothly.

Variations

Deadlift can be performed with kettlebells or dumbbells if you do not have a barbell. Also, there are few other variations of the deadlift lift such as sumo deadlift and Romanian deadlift.

2. Barbell Bent Over Row

The Barbell Bent Over Row is a classic exercise, and it is one of the most effective free weight movements you can do.

Bent over row | Gymammo

Muscles Involved

The barbell bent over row is an exercise that mainly targets trapezius, rhomboids, lats, and biceps. The exercise also heavily involves your core, quads and hamstrings to stay upright and stable.

How to Perform a Barbell Bent Over Row

  1. Stand in front of the barbell with your feet shoulder-width apart and bent over until your back is parallel with the floor.
  2. Grab the barbell with a shoulder-width grip and lift the barbell off the floor. This is your starting position.
  3. Raise the barbell up, using a controlled motion, towards your lower chest.
  4. Hold for a quick moment at the top position, squeezing your back muscles.
  5. Then lower the weight back to the starting position and repeat as many reps as you can.

Form, Tips and Best Practices

  • Keep your back straight and head up to prevent any injuries.
  • To get a better stretch in your shoulders and chest, you'll also want to fully extend your arms as you pull them up from a bent position.

Variations

Bent over rows can be performed with kettlebells or dumbbells if you do not have a barbell. You can also try a reverse grip to put more emphasis on biceps and shoulders.

3. Barbell Overhead Press

This exercise can be done with a variety of weights, but it is most commonly done with a barbell. It is an excellent way to work on your shoulders, arms, and chest muscles as well as your core.

Overhead press | Gymammo

Muscles Involved

The barbell overhead press is a compound lift that primarily targets shoulders, triceps, anterior deltoids, and core muscles.

How to Perform a Barbell Overhead Press

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and hold a barbell against your chest with your palms facing outward.
  2. Then lift up the weight above your head.
  3. Lock out your arms at the top of the movement for a moment.
  4. Then lower the weight back to the starting position and repeat as many reps as you can.

Form, Tips and Best Practices

  • Try to keep your legs straight and use only your hands to lift the weight.

Variations

Overhead press can be performed with kettlebells or dumbbells if you do not have a barbell. You can also try an alternative variation called military press, where you would have your feet together. This posture aims to keep more tension within the body.

4. Barbell Bench Press

The barbell bench press is a great exercise for building up your chest and triceps muscles. It also helps to improve the size of your shoulders.

Bench press | Gymammo

Muscles Involved

Barbell bench press is a great exercise for the chest, shoulders and triceps. It also helps to strengthen the core muscles.

How to Perform a Barbell Bench Press

  1. Lie on your back flat on a bench with your knees bent and feet firmly on the ground. 
  2. Lift the barbell off the rack and hold it with your shoulder-width arms straight above your chest. This is your starting position.
  3. Lower the weight down until it is slightly above your chest. Make sure it does not slam against your chest.
  4. Hold in the lower position for a moment and raise it back to the starting position.
  5. Repeat as many reps as you can.
  6. Place the barbell back on the rack when you finish.

Form, Tips and Best Practices

  • Keep your elbows tight to prevent injury.
  • Don't arch or round your back.
  • Keep your upper body still during this exercise but don't be afraid to let your knees go diagonal.
  • The use of a spotter can be helpful if you are new to this exercise or if you are struggling with it.

Variations

Barbell bench press can be performed with kettlebells or dumbbells if you do not have a barbell. By changing the width of the grip on the barbell, you can change the focus and targeting of the exercises. Close grip will focus more on triceps while wide and medium, slightly wider than shoulder-width grip, will target more chest muscles.

5. Barbell Back Squat

A barbell back squat is an exercise that is often used to strengthen the muscles of the lower body. Keep in mind that this exercise should not be done by beginners, it should be done after you have mastered non weighted squats and other types of basic exercises.

Back squat | Gymammo

Muscles Involved

The back squat is a compound exercise that primarily targets lower back, glutes and hamstrings. Also hitting quadriceps and core muscles.

How to Perform a Barbell Full Squat

  1. Lift the barbell off of the rack and position the weight so that it is resting on your traps.
  2. Keeping your head up, squat down until your quads are parallel to the floor.
  3. Hold this position for a moment.
  4. Then stand back up to the starting position and repeat as many reps as you can.
  5. Place the barbell back on the rack when you finish.

Form, Tips and Best Practices

  • Do not lift your heels while performing a back squat.
  • Use your core muscles to help stand back up.
  • Make sure that your knees stay over your toes while doing this exercise.

Variations

Barbell back squat can be performed with kettlebells or dumbbells if you do not have a barbell. You can also try other variations like deep squat, front squat, or single-leg squat. Make sure you use proper form while doing more complex variations to prevent injuries.

FAQs

Is a barbell good for strength?

Barbell allows you to lift heavier weights with more control because you hold the weight with both hands and utilize more muscles at once. So yes, a barbell is a good choice for building strength, possibly even better than using kettlebells or dumbbells.

How do you train for pure strength?

Training to build a pure strength requires lifting heavier weights with lower rep ranges and longer rest periods between sets. 

How much does the barbell weigh?

The standard barbell weighs 45 pounds. It is about 7 feet long and can be used for many compound exercises like deadlifts, squats, presses, rows, etc. as well as isolation exercises like curls.

Why is a barbell better than machines?

Most machines are only working one isolated muscle group at a time and, therefore, cannot be a good choice when the goal is to build strength. Barbells, on the other hand, work many muscle groups at the same time that aim for a better strength at the end.

Conclusion

The barbell workout is a great way to build strength in the body. It's also a great way to lose weight, improve fitness and stay healthy.

One of the best things about this type of workout is that there are so many variations. You can do everything from squats to deadlifts, and you can use weights ranging from 5 pounds all the way up to 200 pounds, or more.

Barbell compound exercises are, however, the best exercises to build strength. We have covered the top 5 compound exercises to build strength:

  • Deadlift
  • Bent Over Row
  • Overhead Press
  • Bench Press
  • Back Squat

Founded to enhance your workout, Gymammo made it their goal to design, produce, and distribute ready-to-wear athletic apparel made for all workouts. 

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